Albert J. Gray, 73, of Orange, passed away Friday, July 10, at his home. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Monday, July 13, at St. Helen Catholic Church. Burial followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Orange, under the direction of Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.
Albert John Gray was born in Port Arthur, Aug. 14, 1941 to Bart E. Gray and Ollie Stanley Gray. He spent the first 10 years of his life growing up in Sabine Pass. He was a 1959 graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School and joined the Navy serving two years active duty at Barbers Point Naval Air Station and four years reserve duty. Albert graduated from Lamar State College of Technology in 1967 with a BS degree in Chemistry. On Jan. 21, 1968 he married the love of his life Joan Traube, together they have three children, Nancy, Kathy, and David. Upon his graduation he was hired by the Sabine River Authority of Texas where he established their first water quality lab that now employs over 20 people.
Albert worked for 34 years as Development Manager and was a member of the SRA Executive Staff and one of three Trustees of the SRA Employee Retirement Plan. He negotiated water contracts with cities and industries in the Sabine Basin. He also served 32 years on the Sabine River Compact Administration of Louisiana and Texas. He was honored with an Honorary Life Membership of The Texas Water Conservation Association and was a member of the Texas Water Pollution Control Association. Albert was secretary/treasurer of the Sabine River Industrial Development Authority, Vice-Chairman of the Engineering Advisory Committee, Sabine River Compact Administration, a Charter Member of the Texas Water Monitoring Council and Texas Water Development Board Water Information Integration Committee concerning implementation of SB 1. He also served as Chairman of the Airport Advisory Board and the Mosquito Control District Board. He was an active member of St. Helen Catholic Church, serving on the Finance Council and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He also had a love for flying small planes until his health prevented it. Albert was a loving, kind hearted, devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He enjoyed bowling in the senior leagues at Bowl Star and Crossroads. He also enjoyed working outdoors on his tractor, working on his computer, and spending time with his family.
Albert was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Bart E. Gray, Jr.
He is survived by wife, Joan; daughter, Nancy Ashworth; son-in-law, Chris Ashworth; daughter, Kathy Jones; son, David Gray and wife Alicia, all of Orange; brother, Elmer Gray and wife Gloria of Fort Worth; brother-in-law, Michael Traube and wife Linda of Orange; grandchildren, Brittney and Hunter Ashworth, Madelyn Jones, and Barron Gray, all of Orange; numerous nieces and nephews; great-grandson on the way, Blake; aunt, Elsie Dubose and husband Vernon from Groves and numerous cousins.
Serving as pallbearers were Michael Holbrook, Gary Crew, Roger Cacak, Jack Tatum, Gerard Sala, and Jim Brown. Honorary Pallbearers were Wayne Quinn, Charles Quinn, James Stagg and Jim McClelland.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Helen Catholic Church, 8105 FM 1442 Orange, Texas 77630 or to your favorite charity.